This week’s theme at Harmless is Positive escapism and coping mechanisms, so I thought I’d talk about the things that I find help me. The things that provide a welcome distraction and a chance to get out of your head and ‘thinking’ mode and get lost in an experience – to be in the moment.
It’s important to try and recognise when your thoughts start racing, with worries and anxieties popping up, to try and find that ‘space’ or ‘distance’ from them, to give your mind a little reprieve, a little respite.
There’s a few ways I do this, without realising I did until I thought about it! A connection to nature has always been food for my soul. The sound of the wind, the blue skies, the trees, shrubs and flowers, the birds, the butterflies, and how it feels to be outside. Yesterday I had a walk at Highfields and stopped to watch a Swan and her 5 grey fluffy babies paddling away behind her. One decided to hop onto Mum’s back and then all 5 squeezed on with their little heads poking up riding along, and it was just so lovely to see, it filled me with joy, and for that moment nothing else mattered.
Reading is definitely a great way to relax, a compelling book will absorb your focus and get lost in your imagination. My other half is really into audio books and has Charles Dickens Great Expectations on the go with Matt Lucas narrating, which is great as he does all the different voices!
One thing I’ve loved during lockdown is Netflix, I’ve finally done Season 8 of Game of Thrones and been engrossed in so many great dramas. Everyone has their favourite ‘feel good’ film they connect with on a personal level.
There’s exercise, which can come in many forms, be it competitive sports to swimming, kicking a football around to yoga, it’s finding the one that you enjoy most.
Hobbies and interests, fishing, DIY, painting, making or restoring things, cooking or baking.
Embrace your spiritual side and expand your mind, take some time to reflect on your life, what is important to you and what can you let go, use mindfulness or maybe start journaling. Not easy at the moment but holidays and new experiences broaden the mind. Just getting a change of
scene or doing something you’ve never done before will give your brain a rest from ruminating.
I hope you can identify with some of these and that you find your own ways of finding some positive escapism for yourself. Take care.
Suicide Bereavement Support Officer